Monday, September 1, 2014

Low-Hanging Fruit, Fish in a Barrel, and Roosting Chickens

It's another one of those days.  Roy Edroso's latest post at alicublog promotes his Village Voice column collecting right-wing nutbaggery, which of course is easy work provided you wear protective apparel against the flying spittle.  He sums it up as follows:
The brethren's current fist-shaking reminds me that, had Al Gore been elected President -- excuse me, had he been inaugurated President -- we might not have had the clusterfuck we wound up with in Iraq; and if Romney had been elected in 2012, we might already be running back there full-strength. I know what George Wallace said, but to paraphrase Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib, hurrah for that dime's worth of difference. 
At least Edroso allows that Al Gore might not have invaded Iraq -- most Democrats I know are quite sure that he wouldn't have, that 9/11 wouldn't have happened, the 2008 financial crash wouldn't have happened, etc.  All of this is speculation at best, a declaration of faith at worst.  Gore was hawkish on Iraq while he was vice-president, and wouldn't have needed the cover of the September 11 attacks to invade had he become President.  (Neither did Bush, really.)  The Clinton-Gore regime waged a low-intensity war against Iraq throughout its course, with almost daily bombings and sanctions that killed at least half a million Iraqis with hunger and disease.  And that was just one of Clinton-Gore's wars.  There was very little domestic opposition to any of these adventures, least of all from Democrats.  They'd have celebrated President Gore's invasion of Iraq as joyously as most of them did President Bush's at first, and defended it as they defended Clinton's wars.

The comments by Edroso's brethren are more of the same.  This except from one regular is especially entertaining, in its own perverse way:
3.) If only we'd listened to John McCain and Lindsey Graham, we would now have troops on the ground and fighting in:
And probably China and Korea as well.
Look at that list, and remember Obama's record.  We already have troops on the ground in several of those countries -- including South Korea, where 28,500 are currently stationed, and the government is building a major naval base which will be used by the US navy to threaten China.  Obama has initiated hostilities in several others.  And Afghanistan?  The true believer will of course forget that Obama escalated US combat there, and tried to extend our occupation of Iraq.  Mostly, like any prudent American executive, he's preferred to keep American troops off the ground, relying on air power to keep US casualties low.  He wanted military action against Assad in Syria but had to back off, and now he's siding with Assad.   (Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.)  US belligerence has not diminished under Obama, whose repellent embrace of war as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize was typical American deceit and hypocrisy.  But when you're defending your team and its coach, facts are inconvenient and dispensable.  And surely, comrades, you don't want Bush back?

I looked again at then-Senator Obama's 2007 op-ed piece on Iran, and noticed this amusing bit: "the Bush administration's policy has been tough talk with little action and even fewer results."  This is what now-President Obama's hawkish critics are saying about him, to the great indignation of the faithful.